Monday, November 20, 2006

Fruit That Remains in Bolivia

Many of you remember the story (click here to read) from last summer when two witch doctors accepted Christ in the area where Gary, Sarah and Abigail worked. Many of you have been praying for the last witch doctor left in the neighborhood. We’ll, I just found out “the rest of the story.”

Pastor Hamer is the leader in that area. He also is one of the prospective “church planting coaches” who is with us this week to learn how to train others using our methods and materials. He said one of the former witch doctors comes regularly to the church. He is the one who hobbled into the church courtyard in great pain. The team prayed for him that day, and Pastor Hamer reports that he remains healed to this day! God is showing His power here in many ways.

The other has opened his home to host a cell group.

The last witch doctor in the neighborhood never accepted Christ . . . but God answered their prayers for he moved out of the neighborhood. It is now a “witch free zone”!

But there is even more good news. Since Pastor Gary and his daughters helped Pastor Hamer plant that new church in July (No. 1), they have planted two more new churches and are working on a third!

Paster Hamer said that it was the new believers from July who planted the new churches. As they went through the discipleship lessons, some new believers led some family members to Christ in Santa Cruz. But they lived a long way from the church . . . so Pastor Hamer started new church No. 2 where they lived. 34 people now attend regularly.

Then some other new believers did the same in a village called Yapacani about 90 minutes from Santa Cruz. So they started new church No. 3 there. It is very new, and has 16 people who are involved.

And they are working on No. 4. Another new believer that Pastor Gary led to the Lord in July began to grow as he was discipled. He went back to visit his family in Beni, which is another province an 8 hour bus ride away. When he came back to Santa Cruz . . . 15 newly saved family members came with him to ask that a church be started for them. So in February Pastor Hamer and some leaders from church No. 1 plan to go to Beni to officially inagurate No. 4.

God is bringing glory to Himself as he uses the new church started in July, which now runs about 70 in attendance, to multiply itself as disciples make disciples who make disciples.

This Campaign Begins

Yesterday we started our e3 Mission Trip here in Montero, Bolivia. We are working with 3 mother churches in 4 areas where they are starting new churches or cell groups. Sunday morning our teams worshipped with the mother churches. Sunday afternoon we did the “Vision” and “Pray” sessions of our First Steps church planting training. Then our teams went out to those 4 areas to apply what they learned by prayer walking the areas. Or in one case “prayer driving” their huge area (see picture below).

We are blessed to have 16 pastors and leaders from other cities here as potential “church planting coaches.” At the end of the week we hope they will commit to train others how to do evangelism and church planting using what they learn this week.

Please continue to pray for God to use this week to expand His kingdom in Bolivia.

Birthday Boy

Today is our son, Philip’s, 16th birthday (on left receiving a Bolivian "Happy Birthday"). Please pray that God will bless him in a special way this week.

By the grace of God I get hit with a stomach bug only about once every 30 trips. Unfortuantely, this is one of those trips. Please pray for Jehovah Rapha to heal me, and for continued good health and strength for the rest of the team (both Bolivian and US).

Thanks for standing in the gap for us!

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